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When Namazu Whips His Tail, Earth is Shaking!

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Written by   629
1 year ago (Last updated: 10 months ago)

According to Japanese folklore, earthquakes are caused by a giant catfish, Namazu, in the interior of the earth. When he approaches the surface and wriggles and whips his tail, the result is an earthquake. Only the god Kashima can stop him and force him back to the earth's interior. When Kashima is tired or inattentive, Namazu starts to move and makes the earth quake.

In the late 1700s, Namazu began to be associated with disasters. Prior to that, he was a water deity, primarily associated with floods and heavy rain. He warned of those and stopped them by eating water dragons that caused them. During the 1700s, he gradually came to be regarded as the cause of them instead, and replaced the water dragon as the cause of various problems. After the great earthquake in Edo [now Tokyo] in 1855, Namazu increasingly came to be seen as a divine punishment for human error. In this way he was yonaoshi daimyojin, "The god of world improvement". They thought the purpose of his rampage was to improve human morals, not least to make people generous about worldly goods.

Within ukiyo-e, pictures showing Namazu were called namazu-e.

A namazu-e representing the great earthquake of Edo in October 1851. (Artist unknown)

The god Kashima controls Namazu – ca 1855

Kuniyoshi: Otsu-e with Namazu, 1850s.

Namazu-e were typically Otsu-e. That means “picture from Otsu” and refers to the place where this sort of pictures was initially sold. They were simple drawings or woodblock prints with some manually added colour, often made by the artists while the customer was waiting. Probably the initial purpose of the otsu-e was to serve as an alternative to more expensive little Buddha statues. A picture with a religious function rather than an aesthetic. It later came to include beings from Japanese folklore and even totally secular motives.

An Otsu-e was typically unsigned. Of the namazu-e showed here, the one above is made by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, the others are anonymous.

The tradition of otsu-e is still alive, or has been revived if you so prefer. In any case it was not limited to ukiyo-e or the Edo period.

The god Kashima immobilizes a guilty Namazu

Yonaoshi Daimyojin perpetuating a traditional suicide

In nature, catfish are very interesting fish which can grow very big. They have no scales, can breathe and “taste” through the skin and have a developed ability to communicate by sound. As food, catfish is rich in vitamin D, but its fat is not good, since it contains more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids.

Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus (Image released to Public Domain by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Copyright © 2020 Meleonymica/Mictorrani. All Rights Reserved.

You find all my articles on Japanese Art & Culture here.

Interested in Japanese culture? Join my community Japanese Art & Cultural History (7c1f).

You find all my writings on Read.Cash, sorted by topic, here.

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Written by   629
1 year ago (Last updated: 10 months ago)
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Comments

Namazu deserves a life too! How sad not even wiggling your tale is allowed. I loved this story.

I believe there was an animation: Shark and Catfish.

👍💕

I wish we could see all comments @read.cash this is getting messy.

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1 year ago

Yes, this division of comments and different pages for the same article is terrible.

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1 year ago

I saw you had taken this to your community (Short) Stories / Tales (c00f). I don't know if you have been looking through my Japanese articles, but I could imagine that then you would also like the story about Sagi Musume, The Heron Maiden. https://read.cash/@Mictorrani/sagi-musume-the-heron-maiden-0884e080

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1 year ago

I loved the way they are trying to explain earthquakes in their folklore. Kinda creative haha. This is a very interesting story.

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1 year ago

Their folklore always has that sort of explanations to things. Yet, that is not unique for Japan, that is in the nature of folklore, even if it is very expressive in Japan. Perhaps folklore is more alive in parts of East Asia, however, because their religions have never tried to suppress older traditions. Things are added rather than replaced. (Not true where Communism took dominance. It has been a catastrophe for the culture in, for instance, China.)

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1 year ago

That's right. But in China's case communism waasn't able to destroy all the chinese folklore. They still have many stories to tell, and they are as interesting as japanese stories.

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1 year ago

Yes, because all Chinese did not live in Communist China. They had to go to Taiwan to re-find their culture, it survived there and among millions of expat Chinese. Mainland China is still a shadow of what it could have been culturally. Basically, they genuine Chinese traditions are gone there. Many people don't even know they are gone, they don't know they have existed! Mao's cultural revolution made that. It was the most gigantic cultural suicide in history.

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1 year ago

Mao's cultural revolution was a two edge weapon. China improved a lot and become one of the strongest nations in the world, but in return most of their culture and folklore is gone. I don't think you should scrifice your culture to improve 'Japan as an example) but that's what happened in china.

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1 year ago

No, Mao did not improve much in China. The development came after, when Dengxiaoping changed the communism not to be communism anymore, apart from the name.

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1 year ago

Well If that's the case, why they don't get their folklore back? There must be old people who still remember that kind of stories.

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1 year ago

Hardly now anymore. They get some back from Taiwan and so, but the brainwashing in China was enormous, most young people have no idea about even looking for it and it is now so long ago since Mao's time, so old people today were very young then, and very indoctrinated that they had to get rid of the old culture. They even burned all old books, so nothing should remain of China before Mao. It was the most systematic destruction of a culture in human history. Thank God for the large communities of Chinese outside mainland China, who could preserve large parts of the Chinese culture, the culture of what was then a third of humanity!

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1 year ago

Yeah. such a shame and such a loss for humanity folklore in general. Have you been to China?

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1 year ago

This became long, maybe I should have written an article about it instead :) Do you get your points now?

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1 year ago

You have the experience needed to make an article about it so i guess you should. And yes, i got points now commenting on this. How about you?

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1 year ago

We will see what I post here in the future. There are many topics, also new ones, that can turn up. Yes, I get points.

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1 year ago

You have the experience which makes you able to write about many topics. So why not haha. And did you receive your 20 points for posting the article?

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1 year ago

I think I received 20 points, but I didn't check right then so I'm not sure. The strange thing is that it should not have been possible for you to come into the page outside the community, since the front page leads to the community version (which you can see on that the community is written there with blue). That's where something went wrong.

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1 year ago

Read.cash team is already aware of that problem, thay said that themselves, so I guess it's just a matter of time until they fix this.

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1 year ago

I have had email contact with read.cash, I understand what the problem is now. It's not all that easy to solve. The problem is that the notifications going out are leading to the article outside the community system. So when you click on the notification, you come to the article, but not inside the community. Every article doesn't even have a community at that moment, but is approved later. Not mine, since I am the moderator.I just post it that way direct and don't need any approval, but otherwise there is a time in between posting and when the article gets its first approval to a community. And the notifications are going out the moment the article is posted. Something has to be changed there.

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1 year ago

I get it. Didn't they mention when or how are they going to fix this? or they aren't sure yet?

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1 year ago

They discussed alternative solutions, but it was a private email, I don't want to discuss that here. When they want to announce more facts publicly, they'll do that. But I'm sure they are working on it.

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1 year ago

You can totally share the email. There's nothing secret there.

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1 year ago

Ok.

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1 year ago

Here is what they said, I quote the email (with their permission, see above).

One thing we definitely missed is that all of your subscribers are getting the link to your "article", not to communities post. The thing is that lets imagine that you are not the moderator. So you write an article, even asking it to be in a community and publish it. We now have to send out a link. But where? The link in community isn't approved yet and might not even be approved at all..

Maybe we should redirect all users to community post once the first approval is there... or we need to delay sending a notification until there's an approval. I'm not sure yet which is better.

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1 year ago

I don't know if this looks good or not but they can try and send two notifications: the first one when the writer publish it as normal. And another one when that article is approved for the first time by a moderator.

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1 year ago

It's not good, then a lot of people will open and look and rate without the author gets anything for it.The most reasonable, in my opinion, is that they don't send the notification until the first approval in a community. A consequence of that would be that something being published without being submitted to a community, will not generate any notification at all.

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1 year ago

yeah...That looks the best solution so far. waiting for what will read cash do

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1 year ago

Did you get oints for your comment here? It happened something strange when I posted this. I think I have to delete it and eventually post again.

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1 year ago

Where can you check if you receive points?

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1 year ago

Hold the marker over the value of your wallet, top of page, you'll see the number of points you have. Note how many they are before you make a comment. Then check afterwards if you have got more or not. Is it clear enough?

Clear is, you get no points here. You must enter the article through community. Look at my post from today, I mention something in the end there. And this is the link to the community version, so there you'll get points. https://read.cash/@Mictorrani/the-toyokuni-confusion-acb8d47b

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1 year ago

Okay the marker will be my finger. I am a mobile user only.

Through which community should one comment? The very first or one of the communities you joined with this article. I don't believe I will check this all out each time but I learned something. Thanks. 👍💕

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1 year ago

To get points for your comments, any community goes. But for the author thumbs up and views become divided. You know you get points after a certain number of views or thumbs up, but they are counted for each community separately. It would be better if every viewer came to the same community, but that is impossible to achieve. So just any community is fine for you.

For my articles, the ones in the near future I mean, just follow the link I give at the bottom of the page. You'll see how that looks in my posts from today. Then you come to a suitable community direct.

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1 year ago

Sorry, for the late reply. My notifications seem to be messed up. At this moment I can only see 5 days and older.

I didn't know bout the thumbs-up and keep it in mind for commenting if possible. Reading comments makes it difficult too with many communities.

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1 year ago

That problem will soon disappear, since each article may only be in one community in the future.

Notifications are always troublesome, because they are mixed and when having many communities to moderate, they are many, many. I'm sure I miss some notifications. But it must be even worse with only a telephone.

If you can only see that old ones, something must be wrong.

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1 year ago

Noted. Thank you.

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1 year ago

No i didn't. And this happened in many other articles with me. They are in communities but no points. I emailed read.cash and they told me to send a link of that comment to them. And I send them my comment in here

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1 year ago

Yeah, we need a more clear way to understand whether you're replying to an article in communities or outside.

This link (where you commented) is just an article:

https://read.cash/@Mictorrani/when-namazu-whips-his-tail-earth-is-shaking-6e9afa5d

This one is a submission to a community:

https://read.cash/@Mictorrani/when-namazu-whips-his-tail-earth-is-shaking-1ef33ac6

You can see at the second link that all these comments were written on an article discussion page, not in community.

Yeah, we'll need to think about a more clear way to identify which is which.

The easiest way right now is to follow the link from the community page: https://read.cash/c/japanese-art-cultural-history-7c1f?sort=new

cc @Mictorrani

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1 year ago

From my point of view every comment under an article that has joined a community should get points. Otherwise it is confusing. I've seen the same article twice in the list, once with community mark and once without. If I comment the article without marking, I don't get any points. I am never really sure if my comment will get points.

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1 year ago

That would require that you will be able to submit article only to one community. Otherwise, there are discussions going in many communities, some of which might block some users (in future), some of these communities might get points, some not (because of too lax rules). We're not yet quite sure yet what the best solution is, but we're thinking about it.

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1 year ago

That makes sence now. This happened when I didn't click an article directly from the communities. Things are clear now. Thanks.

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1 year ago

No it doesn't make sense at all. If you clicked on the front page it should lead to community version. I have written to them now. I'm quite irritated over this sort of thing.

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1 year ago

I said it makes sense because when I click an article from community i didn't face that problem. The update is new so there are some bugs I guess.

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1 year ago

Ok, good. Then we'll see.

I didn't get any points here either.

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1 year ago

@Mictorrani @hamedbkh

We've rolled out a temporary solution to the comments problem (look under "Comments" headline).

Since @hamedmkh originally started this discussion in non-community article, so we've had to move this whole branch to a non-community discussion (but the points were kept).

I think it's more obvious now. Does it seem better now to you?

We're still thinking about the problem of how to send notifications, etc...

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1 year ago

Ok, I understand. But as long as notifications lead to article outside communities, it is best not to post anything new then. Or am I misunderstanding something?

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1 year ago

The notifications about replies/comments go out correctly. If I reply to you in community discussion the notification will be to that community discussion tab.

There is only a (logical) problem with notifications about when article is first published. Namely - we either need to send out notifications to subscribers immediately about an article being published, or we need to delay them until(or if) an article is published in some community. That problem is still not solved.

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1 year ago

Yes, I understand that. It was the notification of a new article I was thinking of now, because subscribers follow that and then they open the non-community version and both comments and upvotes occur there.

It's not easy, but I think the best, or least bad, alternative would be to delay notification until the article's first approval into a community. That would mean that articles never entering any community would not generate any notification, and I'm sure some members would protest against that, but shouldn't all serious articles end up in a community anyway?

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1 year ago

but shouldn't all serious articles end up in a community anyway?

I'm not so sure about that. Of course articles end up in communities, but there's a big difference between an author submitting an article to a community and somebody submitting an article just to get some points by commenting on it.

We'll need to think this through still.

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1 year ago

Yes, okay, I understand. You have to consider all consequences of what you do and you have full insight into the system; I can only speak from what I observe and that might lead wrong in the end.

You are doing an amazing work with this site!

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1 year ago

Thank you!

Yeah, it's not easy sometimes, because we're trying to invent something new and the real usage is often totally different from what we imagine it to be.

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1 year ago

One more thing, when opening an article, it is impossible to see if it is opened in a community or outside. That need to be clearly visible. When I open something in the feed, I don't know if it is inside or outside the community. I have discovered that even if it is community marked (with blue), it sometimes looks to be outside the community when opened. It was like that with my article yesterday, as I could figure it out with help of the comments.

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1 year ago

Impressive way to explain earthquake .. yet most of us know why earthquake occurs thanks for sharing this information

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1 year ago

Good read. Interesting.

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1 year ago

This story is really good and the arts are great as usual. I'm just curious, why catfish? Catfish also don't live in the ocean (correct me if I'm wrong please). Why not shark or whale? Haha. Anyway, I'm really learning a lot on your articles. Thank you.

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1 year ago

They live mainly in coastal waters, not the high sea. I'm sorry, but I don't know why they have chosen catfish in this context.

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1 year ago

You looks like more interested in japanes culture. Thaks for sharing this nice folk tale

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1 year ago

I am interested in the Japanese culture, yes. But I am interested in many things.

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1 year ago

Hello, In new your contents are great ❤❤you are so amazing

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1 year ago

Thank you.

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1 year ago

Nice one, your article are great I will love to read more from you

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1 year ago

Thank you, always nice to hear that. If you subscribe you will not risk to miss anything.

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1 year ago

[Removed comment]

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1 year ago